Monday, September 28, 2020

Last Call For Carolina On My Mind, Con't

Trump needs North Carolina to win the electoral college as much as he needs Florida, and everyone on both sides knows it.

President Donald Trump is fighting to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, howling with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and warning that violent mobs are infiltrating the suburbs.

But on a recent morning along Arbor Street, a peaceful tree-lined road with stately brick Colonials and Tudors near Winston-Salem, the women who are the targets of Trump’s messages were confronting much more tangible threats.

As conservative activists canvassed the neighborhood, one young mother, a baby in her arms, shouted through a closed window that she was in quarantine. Across the street, another was focused on teaching her children their daily lessons at the kitchen table.

And a few doors down, 49-year-old Christina Donnell, an independent who voted for Trump four years ago, said through a black face mask that Trump’s “terrible” handling of the pandemic and divisive leadership more broadly are her chief concerns.

“It’s embarrassing to the country,” Donnell, a lawyer who previously lived in Washington, said of Trump’s leadership. “He’s an embarrassing role model.”

In one of the nation’s most consequential swing states, Trump’s push to inject new dynamics into the final weeks of the 2020 election is being overshadowed by the frightening realities of everyday life during a pandemic. Trump and his allies hope the escalating Supreme Court nomination fight will help unify a fractured Republican Party that has lost its grip on college-educated suburban voters, particularly white women.

But for many, the coronavirus and the related economic challenges are much more pressing issues.

Trump’s challenge is acute here in North Carolina, a state that his senior aides describe as a “must-win.” A loss in the state, which Democrats have carried only once at the presidential level in the last 30 years, would make Trump’s path to a second term incredibly difficult and signal dire challenges elsewhere on the electoral map.

Public polling, backed by private discussions with strategists from both Trump’s and Democrat Joe Biden’s campaigns, indicate that North Carolina remains a true tossup five weeks before Election Day. And lest there be any doubt about Trump’s concerns about his standing here, he has traveled to North Carolina every week for the last five weeks, second only to Pennsylvania.

Trump’s standing will also help decide races for governor and senator, a set of competitive contests that has drawn more political advertising dollars to North Carolina than any other state in the nation. More than $246 million has been spent or reserved to communicate with North Carolina voters online and on television about the presidential and Senate contests so far, according to the media tracking firm Kantar-CMAG. Florida follows with $236 million and then Arizona with $223 million.

Trump has also dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to North Carolina twice over the last five weeks in addition to four visits by Trump’s children.

The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, a North Carolina native, led a Women for Trump event in the rural eastern part of the state last week to help energize the president’s base. She was scheduled to visit again on Monday.

“This is a must-win state for whoever is to become the next president,” Lara Trump said in an interview.
She's wrong. Biden doesn't have to win North Carolina. He can win with PA, MI, and WI. He doesn't even have to win Florida or Arizona and could even afford to lose Nevada or New Hampshire as long as he wins those three states.
But Trump has to win NC, Florida, Arizona and one of those three rust belt states. He has no other choices. He's now down double digits in Minnesota and Nevada is only worth 6 EVs (and it's close to a double digit lead there for Biden too.)

And this is all before the tax cheat story broke over the weekend.


Breonna Taylor's Life Mattered, Con't

I warned you that Kentucky GOP AG Daniel Cameron would sandbag the Breonna Taylor grand jury investigation and he did exactly that as none of the officers were indicted for her murder, and one of them was indicted on causing damage to her neighbors' apartments with his gun. Now as Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is calling for the public release of the grand jury information, the Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting that Cameron lied about the ballistics report in the shooting.

A Kentucky State Police ballistics report does not support state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s assertion that Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot a Louisville police officer the night she was killed.

Cameron told reporters Wednesday the investigation into Taylor’s March 13 death had ruled out “friendly fire” from ex-Louisville Metro Police officer Brett Hankison as the source of the shot that went through LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s thigh, prompting him and officer Myles Cosgrove to return fire, killing Taylor.

The KSP report says “due to limited markings of comparative value,” the 9-mm bullet that hit and exited Mattingly was neither “identified nor eliminated as having been fired” from Walker’s gun.  
Cameron said Hankison had been eliminated as the shooter because the three officers were all carrying .40 caliber handguns, while Walker had a 9.

But appearing later that night on CNN, Steve Romines, one of Walker’s attorneys, said he had obtained a LMPD record showing Hankison had been issued a 9-mm weapon as well.

Romines declined to share the record from Hankison’s personnel file with The Courier-Journal, and LMPD spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said she could only release it in response to an open-records request.

The Courier Journal filed one, but the department hasn’t responded.

Another attorney for Walker, Rob Eggert, provided the ballistic report, which was first reported by Vice.

Walker has admitted he fired what he has described as a single warning shot from his Glock handgun at Taylor’s apartment because he thought intruders were breaking in. Police were attempting to serve a "no-knock" search warrant shortly before 1 a.m. March 13 at Taylor's home as part of a larger narcotics investigation. 
Officer Mattingly being shot by a 9mm caliber firearm and friendly fire being impossible because only Walker had a 9mm firearm is the main evidence for dismissing any charges against the officers, and the main justification for the immediate use of lethal force that took Breonna Taylor's life.

Except, surprise, that's a lie.

The fact that one of the other officers on the scene had been issued a (mm firearm might have been interest to a grand jury. It would have been exceedingly simple for Cameron to say "One of the officers was issued a 9mm sidearm but he did not have it on him during this incident."

But Cameron didn't say that.  He said that the ballistics report was not 100% positive on Walker's gun, but that the unconfirmed ballistics report was irrelevant because it was the only 9mm at the scene, and since it was irrelevant, the shooting was justified, and no indictments were issued for Breonna Taylor's death.
This is a cover-up, guys.
And Cameron just got caught.

The Most Taxing Of Explanations

 Good morning.

That's it, that's the whole story.

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.

The tax returns that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.

The New York Times has obtained tax-return data extending over more than two decades for Mr. Trump and the hundreds of companies that make up his business organization, including detailed information from his first two years in office. It does not include his personal returns for 2018 or 2019. This article offers an overview of The Times’s findings; additional articles will be published in the coming weeks.

The returns are some of the most sought-after, and speculated-about, records in recent memory. In Mr. Trump’s nearly four years in office — and across his endlessly hyped decades in the public eye — journalists, prosecutors, opposition politicians and conspiracists have, with limited success, sought to excavate the enigmas of his finances. By their very nature, the filings will leave many questions unanswered, many questioners unfulfilled. They comprise information that Mr. Trump has disclosed to the I.R.S., not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

In response to a letter summarizing The Times’s findings, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and requested the documents on which they were based. After The Times declined to provide the records, in order to protect its sources, Mr. Garten took direct issue only with the amount of taxes Mr. Trump had paid.

“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Mr. Garten said in a statement.

With the term “personal taxes,” however, Mr. Garten appears to be conflating income taxes with other federal taxes Mr. Trump has paid — Social Security, Medicare and taxes for his household employees. Mr. Garten also asserted that some of what the president owed was “paid with tax credits,” a misleading characterization of credits, which reduce a business owner’s income-tax bill as a reward for various activities, like historic preservation.

The tax data examined by The Times provides a road map of revelations, from write-offs for the cost of a criminal defense lawyer and a mansion used as a family retreat to a full accounting of the millions of dollars the president received from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

Together with related financial documents and legal filings, the records offer the most detailed look yet inside the president’s business empire. They reveal the hollowness, but also the wizardry, behind the self-made-billionaire image — honed through his star turn on “The Apprentice” — that helped propel him to the White House and that still undergirds the loyalty of many in his base.

Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.
Donald Trump has fought tooth and nail to keep the American people from finding out about his tax returns. He has used his office to shield himself from their release for roughly 1400 days. 

Now we finally know why.

Donald Trump is broke and most likely committed massive tax fraud. He's nowhere close to being a billionaire, if anything he owes hundreds of millions. He took money from Putin and his cadre of Russian oligarchs and from money laundering international big banks like Deutsche Bank to stay afloat. He owes them everything, including his presidency, and is beholden to foreign interests like no other elected American official has ever been. 

The bills he has coming due are 100% contingent on him remaining in office, and he's using and abusing the power of his office to protect himself from nine-digit fines and years of prison time. And should God forbid he get a second term, he will be nearly a half-billion in debt as a national leader, making him completely compromised. The evidence is piling up that he used his family as part of his tax schemes, paying his own children massive sums and then writing it all off as campaign expenses.

Most of all, so far in his term, he has paid a grand total of $1500 in federal taxes, and the one major piece of legislation he has signed in his four years has been a massive tax giveaway to professional international corporate tax cheats like himself. He literally signed a bill whose entire purpose was to make people like him richer by making it even more legal to cheat Uncle Sam out of their fair share of taxes. Period.

That's it. That's the story. That has always been the story. He ran for President to enrich himself and he found out once he won that the entire GOP was gladly willing to help him get away with looting the place. You paid more in taxes than Donald Trump because Donald Trump signed a law to make sure he would always be able to pay less in taxes than you.

The best part? The NYT promises more articles are coming in the future.  Even if you believe this won't hurt his reelection chances, it will obliterate any chance of changing the narrative to a Trump comeback.

Dude is most likely toast. He's going to get his Supreme Court pick, but it's going to cost him everything.

Have a nice day, Donald.


Related Posts with Thumbnails